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Reconstructed Clothing Roundup: 5 Ways to Revamp a T-shirt

27 April 2011 131,476 views 6 Comments

by rhonda

I have that classic womanly problem of a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.  Ever feel like everything you own is just kind of...  meh?  Never fear, there is still hope for your tired wardrobe!  There is a solution, and it's called reconstructed clothing.  You can tear apart and remake virtually any clothing item to give it an entirely new look.  One of the most popular things to refashion is an ol' standby, the t-shirt.  There are so, so, SO many ways you can revamp a t-shirt; here are five ideas to get you started.

[Emma Pillsbury T-shirt by iCandy handmade]

Inspired by the fashion sense of Glee character Emma Pillsbury, Jen from iCandy handmade came up with this design that turns two plain t-shirts into one very sophisticated look.  I love the attention to detail, including the pleated neckline and gathered shoulders.

[Bow Sleeve T-shirt at Sew, What's New?]

Speaking of shoulder details, how 'bout this t-shirt remake by Sew, What's New? user Ruby Murray?  The shirt originally had long sleeves, which she cut off and used to make the bow embellishments.  She even uses the cut-off seams to create additional detailing around the neckline, so not even the smallest scrap of fabric goes to waste in this project!

[Ruffle-Wrapped T-shirt by Welcome to the Good Life]

While many t-shirt reconstruction projects first cut up the original shirt and then sew it back together, some go straight to embellishing.  Sarah from Welcome to the Good Life took some ruffled ribbon trim from her stash and appliqued it in a loopy pattern around the neckline.  The result looks like something Anthroplogie might sell, except at an attainable price.

[Ruffled T-shirt by All Things Heart & Home]

If you're a fan of the ruffly tudexo shirt look, you'll love this frilly design by Robin of All Things Heart & Home.  It requires two shirts, one that is cut up to make the ruffles and a second that they are sewn to.  It looks cute by itself and would also look great as a layering piece.  Pop it on under a blazer for a great "business casual" look, or under a hooded sweatshirt for a young, whimsical outfit.

[Loopy Skinny Tee by Elisabeth Abernathy]

This skinny t-shirt by Elizabeth Abernathy gets its length from being a men's long-sleeve t-shirt.  The sleeves are cut off and the material from them is used to make the design across the shoulder.  Not only do the loopy bits add interest, they also hide the shirt's small holes and stains.  Clever!

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  • Kelly H said:


  • Jennifer Rodriguez said:

    these are fabulous!!

  • Michelle L. said:

    Great roundup! As a Glee fan, I do love that Emma P. shirt. But all are so pretty!

  • Sharee said:

    I love it, very clever ideas!!

  • Water Extraction said:

    Wow these all came out really nice. gotta try this with my old t-shirts

  • Dana said:

    wow someone is very talented and quite inventive as well!!